Immigration 101

The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.

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All Immigration 101 Content

February 18, 2021
Understanding how deeply we hold our immigration stances may matter as much as what our stances are.
February 8, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of how Temporary Protected Status designations are made, what benefits TPS confers, and how TPS beneficiaries apply for and regularly renew their status.
January 22, 2021
Under the “Migrant Protection Protocols”, individuals who arrive at the southern border and ask for asylum (either at a port of entry or after crossing the border between ports of entry) are given...
October 6, 2020
This fact sheet provides an overview of withholding of removal, including the basics of seeking protection in the United States, eligibility requirements, the application process, and data on...
September 24, 2020
There are more than 23 million female immigrants in the United States, and they are a formidable presence in U.S. society and the economy.­
June 18, 2020
The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) initially brought scholars to the United States to teach or conduct research. Today, there are 14 categories of programs through which EVP participants can teach,...
June 12, 2020
Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet provides basic...
January 10, 2020
Over the last two decades, the federal government increasingly has utilized the criminal courts to punish people for immigration violations. This overview provides basic information about entry-...
July 1, 2019
To better understand the changing interior enforcement trends under the Trump administration, this report analyzes individual-level data on immigration enforcement outcomes.
June 11, 2018
Some confusion exists regarding the economic aspects of family-based immigration. To help unpack those aspects, this report focuses on one of them—namely, the earnings of family-based immigrants.
February 12, 2021
The Council submitted this declaration in support of the ACLU's defense of the Biden Administration's moratorium on deportations. This declaration explains how the removal and detention system works.
October 6, 2020

This document provides a summary of the Department of Homeland Security's September 25, 2020, Proposed Rule, "...

September 15, 2020
This new rule will increase the total number of people who are required to submit biometric data from 3.9 million currently to 6.07 million—an increase of more than 60%.
July 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a July 29, 2020 hearing on "Oversight of U....

July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Recommendations that DHS promulgate new regulations that ensure more effective oversight over the issuance of detainers and better protection for those subject to detainers.

Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13563, 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (Mar. 14, 2011)
February 13, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a broad overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including how to make a FOIA request and how to appeal an inadequate response. It discusses the...
February 5, 2014
The American Immigration Council’s Practice Advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, has been updated to reflect extensive changes to the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
March 4, 2021

Individuals hoping to become a naturalized American citizen will take a different civics test beginning this week, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverts back to a previous...

February 25, 2021

President Biden has ended a 10-month ban on immigrant visas—the COVID-19 immigrant visa ban. The Trump administration issued the ban in April 2020 in the name of “protecting” American jobs during...

February 25, 2021

Over the past year, sweeping orders have banned many non-immigrant visa holders from entering the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic gave many former Trump administration officials the...

February 11, 2021

The U.S. Border Patrol has been rooted in institutional racism since its founding in 1924. Almost a century later, the agency continues to commit racially fueled violent acts with near impunity....

February 3, 2021

On February 2, 2021, following the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of Homeland Security, President Biden signed three executive orders that take steps to further unwind the Trump...

February 1, 2021

The Biden administration’s immigration reform bill will have a provision that seeks to replace the term “alien” with “noncitizen” in immigration law. The term “alien” in the Immigration and...

January 28, 2021

Do most immigrants show up for their immigration court hearings? A new report released by the American Immigration Council reveals that the answer to this question is a clear “Yes.” As the Biden...

January 22, 2021

On his first day in office, President Biden took significant steps towards undoing the harm of the Trump administration’s immigration policies—and reforming our punitive and inhumane enforcement...

January 21, 2021

During his campaign, President Biden promised that immigration reform would be one of his top priorities upon taking office. After unveiling the summary of a sweeping immigration reform bill on...

January 11, 2021

Five years ago, Donald Trump descended an elevator and declared that Mexico was sending rapists and “bringing crime” across the border. Now, while America still reels from the deadly...

June 12, 2018
Through analysis of data from the decennial census and administrative data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, this special report examines the earnings gains over time of all immigrants, as well as the earnings gains experienced by family-based immigrants compared to employment-based immigrants.
September 21, 2016
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) immigration report takes a comprehensive look at the fiscal and economic impact of immigration.
July 21, 2015

Washington D.C.

May 15, 2014

Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy.

March 31, 2014

Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data.

January 26, 2012

Washington D.C. - The term “self-deportation” has found its way into the GOP presidential primary race, with candidate Mitt Romney outlining a vague immigration pl

February 28, 2011

Washington D.C. - In cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group release a new study today which reviews and

August 11, 2010

Washington D.C. - Over the last several weeks, a handful of elected officials have re-ignited a call for the repeal of birthright citizenship.

July 6, 2010
Today, Fox News is reporting on data provided to them by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) which amounts to a highly misleading fiscal snapshot of the costs allegedly imposed on U.S. taxpayers by unauthorized immigrants.
March 4, 2021

Individuals hoping to become a naturalized American citizen will take a different civics test beginning this week, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reverts back to a previous...

February 25, 2021

President Biden has ended a 10-month ban on immigrant visas—the COVID-19 immigrant visa ban. The Trump administration issued the ban in April 2020 in the name of “protecting” American jobs during...

February 25, 2021

Over the past year, sweeping orders have banned many non-immigrant visa holders from entering the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic gave many former Trump administration officials the...

February 18, 2021
Understanding how deeply we hold our immigration stances may matter as much as what our stances are.
February 12, 2021
The Council submitted this declaration in support of the ACLU's defense of the Biden Administration's moratorium on deportations. This declaration explains how the removal and detention system works.
February 11, 2021

The U.S. Border Patrol has been rooted in institutional racism since its founding in 1924. Almost a century later, the agency continues to commit racially fueled violent acts with near impunity....

February 8, 2021
This fact sheet provides an overview of how Temporary Protected Status designations are made, what benefits TPS confers, and how TPS beneficiaries apply for and regularly renew their status.
February 3, 2021

On February 2, 2021, following the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of Homeland Security, President Biden signed three executive orders that take steps to further unwind the Trump...

February 1, 2021

The Biden administration’s immigration reform bill will have a provision that seeks to replace the term “alien” with “noncitizen” in immigration law. The term “alien” in the Immigration and...

January 28, 2021

Do most immigrants show up for their immigration court hearings? A new report released by the American Immigration Council reveals that the answer to this question is a clear “Yes.” As the Biden...

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